Last Week's Hot News: Oct. Week 1

Nvidia settles price fixing suit

This week Nvidia announced that it will settle the price fixing lawsuit that Tom’s Hardware reported on several weeks ago. It was alleged that the company, along with AMD/ATI, conspired secretly to control prices of everything from entry level graphics products all the way up to professional level cards.

The problem here is that it was done transparently to the end user, making it nearly impossible to notice. The worst part? This practice was done over a span of several years. The lawsuit attempted to recoup monetary damages from both Nvidia and AMD/ATI, but there’s yet no word on how much of the $1.7 million settlement will end up back in the hands of consumers.

Our take on it is, if it’s over a span of four or more years, $1.7 million seems minuscule compared to how much was unethically taken from end users.

Check out the settlement case here.

Microsoft to develop for iPhone

In a move that surprised many, Microsoft this week announced that it would bring Tellme, a voice communication application, over to Apple’s highly successful iPhone platform.

Despite the wide spread use of Blackberries and Windows Mobile devices, Microsoft decided that it could no longer ignore the growth of Apple’s mobile platform, and decided it was time to start developing.

Those who have jailbroken iPhones know that applications have been available for over a year now. Including ones that have features like Tellme, which are still omitted from the official Apple firmwares. Cut and Paste for example, is still MIA.

Read more about Microsoft’s iPhone Tellme project here.

New CPU Charts from us!

In what seemed like forever to update, we finally bring you a new comprehensive charting system that includes CPUs from both AMD and Intel over the last several years. The charts go into detail about the specifications of each processor model, and how they perform under various benchmarks.

Those who are looking to upgrade their existing systems, or even buying brand new, can’t miss out on our charts. Compare the model you’re looking for, with one from a competitor, or even one from the same family class.

Check out our new interactive 2008 CPU charts here.

Seagate's 1.5TB Barracuda

This week we took an in depth look at the new Barracuda hard drive from Seagate. Although the new drive is not a solid state drive (SSD), it still packs a huge punch in terms of its capacity. Rated at 1.5 terabytes (TB), the drive is currently leading the record for highest density.

But is bigger always better? Check out the review for more details. However, with increased bit densities, manufacturers have to worry about magnetic leakage and data corruption. It becomes increasingly harder to pack those tiny bits of data next to one another without worrying that their magnetic polarities will affect each other.

Thanks to perpendicular recording technology however, Seagate (and now Western Digital) have two monstrous drives that are worthy of attention. Just make sure you have a backup — 1.5 TB of data is a heck of a lot of data to lose!

Interview with Killer NIC creators

This week we take a look at Bigfoot Network’s Killer NIC, which received quite a number of bad publicity due mainly to its high costs. At $150, it’s certainly not an option for most when motherboards today come with at least one Ethernet port.

According to Bigfoot however, which is run by one of the ex-lead designers of Intel’s network products, the secret is in the onboard processing. The Killer NIC is suppose to alleviate processing overhead from the system CPU, allowing it to do other things.

Bigfoot also claims lower latency times, which is suppose to translate into a better online gaming experience. Check out the full in-depth interview here.

Nintendo announces new DS and Wii HD

This was a big news week for Nintendo. The company announced that a brand new DS, called the DSi, will be coming in time for the holiday season. The new DSi will sport a larger 3.25-inch screen (the current generation is sitting at 3-inches), and an online DS store. The new store will allow users to download new game content and store them directly to the DSi.

How will you store downloaded content? The new DSi will also have a SD memory slot for upgrading storage capacities.

Tom’s Guide also reported this week that Nintendo will be launching a new version of the Wii console. Despite its success, the Wii is riding on old generation hardware — although put together very cleverly.

According to reports, the new Wii will support for HD resolutions, which means it may come with a new GPU to support higher definition games. At this time, details are vague, but, it’s about time Nintendo!

Apple threatens to kill iTunes

In a statement that sent shockwaves across the music industry, Apple this week threatened to shut down its iTunes music store due to proposed royalty hikes. According to Apple, the higher royalty rates would plummet iTunes into a loss-profit operation, which would force the company to shut it down immediately.

Of course, a statement like that from the number one retailer of music is pretty scary to the music industry. As a result, the National Music Publishers’ Association decided against changing royalty rates for online music sales, and instead, increasing rates for digital ring-tones.

We prefer to make our own ringtones from songs we’ve already paid for, thanks.

Read the full iTunes shutdown report on Tom’s Guide.

  • Quite useless charts. I am an owner of an AMD X2 processor that is not displayed in these charts, if I want to buy a new CPU I want to know not only which is better, but how much better than my current CPU. Why? Because if the difference is not big enough I don't buy anything now and I will look again into this in a year from now.
  • cangelini
    Adrian BQuite useless charts. I am an owner of an AMD X2 processor that is not displayed in these charts, if I want to buy a new CPU I want to know not only which is better, but how much better than my current CPU. Why? Because if the difference is not big enough I don't buy anything now and I will look again into this in a year from now.
    Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully more people find them useful than useless. ;-)
  • kittle
    Ditto on the charts. If i want to compare a benchmark across a few CPUs.. I get the WHOLE benchmark suite instead of just what I picked. Information overload.. and a major scrollbar battle.
  • randomizer
    kittleInformation overload.. and a major scrollbar battle.Get yourself a 30" monitor that can do portrait mode - problem solved :D
  • You shouldn't have to buy a 30 inch monitor, or turn it 90 degrees to see info. It is quite annoying though. Could be laid out better. The desktop graphics card comparison guide is easier to read and very similar... Take a look,